October 13, 2010 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has spent the last few years attempting to find ways help veterans living in rural areas receive their entitled VA health care. Attempts have run the gamut from providing vans for transporting veterans to and from the VA health care centers to providing portable, remote, and interactive clinics. The VA's latest attempt to bring health care to veterans living in rural areas is the Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH) program.
ARCH links eligible veterans in rural issues with health care services close to their home. They do this by contracting with non-VA health care providers. Eligibility for veterans in every area will vary by specific veterans' needs and the site of the pilot program. The 5 pilot sites are:
The basic requirements for veterans' eligibility are living in an area in which the VA is operating a pilot program and being enrolled in VA health care services. Veterans must also live over 60 minutes away from the closest VA health care facility capable of providing primary, acute, or tertiary care.
Any veteran who operated against a hostile force after November 11, 1998 need not be enrolled for VA health care services at the time ARCH begins. They must, however, satisfy the distance criteria and will need to enroll in VA health care services in order to qualify.
Local VA centers employ Care Coordinators who can help veterans with their questions or help determine eligibility. Every veteran qualifying for private care service will still be responsible for co-payments, if they are required.
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